Buying Your Press

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” ― Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked

New Jersey is a mess and the incompetent, bordering on corrupt, management of Chris Christie has exacerbated rapidly problems that have festered under prior governors, some less incompetent.  Yet media coverage of the demise of Atlantic City, the bankruptcy of the pension system and the rampant pay-to-play system of governance throughout the state vacillates between nonexistent and reluctantly regurgitating official pronouncements when it would cause comment not to touch upon the subject.

It is reported that New Jersey is the worst state for business with the most people moving out to escape the highest taxes.  Yet the biggest newspaper in the state does not expend any resources on investigating why or questioning leadership. Why would that be?

Possibly because the main problem is someone who pays your salary and when they want you to disseminate this type of propaganda in your paper (that you now charge $1.50 for daily from $1) or on your website-

“We need politicians to care more about doing something and less about being something.”

you oblige even when it is a quote attributed to Chris Christie, Honorary Chairman Leadership Matters for America PAC on a website where they ask for donations to get someone elected who wants to BE president yet does not care to DO anything about the state of pensions, taxes, and cities in New Jersey while he can.  That ironic twist is unlikely to be noted in the Star Ledger since it would irritate their newest advertiser:

 

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14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jim Buettner on January 28, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    John, as you are most aware the stink doesn’t stop at the top but permeates all the way down to the county and town level. One quarter of the taxes we pay go to the county often without any representation or say.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on January 29, 2015 at 12:28 am

      Good example of WHY and HOW Taxpayers get screwed ….

      In Bergen County, the County Police and the County Sheriff’s Departments were just merged with the head of the combined operation specifically stating that they now had 49 MORE sworn officers (20% of the total) than needed.

      They also stated that they would move toward that reduced number (e.g., 49 FEWER officers) via attrition ONLY (retirements and voluntary termination ….. meaning MANY MANY years).

      Since when are Bergen County Taxpayers supposed to be an employer of the UNNEEDED ?

      They SHOULD HAVE done exactly what Corporate America would do in such a merger … terminate those no longer needed with a thank you and contractually agreed-upon severance pay (and perhaps a very modest sweetener, such as continued healthcare coverage for 3-6 months).

      Earth to Gov’t employers EVERYWHERE, us Taxpayers are getting VERY fed-up with being the sucker in the equation …… and the odds of Public Sector workers getting anywhere near the grossly excessive pensions & benefits that they have been promised by our self-serving, vote-selling, contribution-soliciting, taxpayer-betraying BOUGHT-OFF (with campaign contributions and election support) elected officials, is somewhere between slim and none.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on January 30, 2015 at 12:32 am

        You are a fool TL. Within 5 or so years the # of officers will be down to normal. The force will lose 7 or so a year. unlike you and most politicians, Tedisco has a heart. You like to pontificate endlessly on this blog, but I can bet you’ve never served the public or your country. It’s not always about money TL. Those 49 officers probably cost you $10 a year in County tax if that. Sometimes it is about doing the right thing and not firing an employee, you might feel different if you were a freeholder who knew the officers. The vast majority of the public would probably disagree with you in terms of wanting them fired/laid off. Quite frankly I don’t want to see anyone lose their job.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on January 30, 2015 at 12:42 am

          Quoting … “You are a fool TL. Within 5 or so years the # of officers will be down to normal.”

          Well genius, that’s 5 years too long. What is it about ….. Since when are Bergen County Taxpayers supposed to be an employer of the UNNEEDED ? … tha you don’t understand?

          Tedisco’s “heart” is in the TAXPAYERS’ pockets. If it was HIS pocket, that “heart” would disappear rapidly. It’s easy to be generous with someone ELSE’s money.

          And quoting …”It’s not always about money”

          That’s amusingcoming from the insatiably greedy … Public Sector workers.

          Reply

          • Posted by Anonymous on January 30, 2015 at 11:39 am

            Here is the difference TL. My neighbor works for Mercedes. In 6 months she will be not. Life goes on. She gave 23 yrs of her life to work there. She will be fi ne. she did learn a hard lesson about loyalty. I never begrudge anyone for getting as much as they can cause you just don’t know. And if you were a “greedy public employee” you would want the same, including some protection from politicians who will fire you ca use their pal needs a job instead or they got a ticket from that cop or my kid got a bad grade. Etc. Most public employees are decent folks. Can’t say the same about politicians. You are so far out on the fringe with your beliefs. That is why you are really the only regular commentator on here with ur attitude on this. Most of the state has indeed got past the whole cops and teachers are leaches type of thinking. In a way I feel sorry for you.

          • Posted by Tough Love on January 30, 2015 at 1:19 pm

            Anon,

            As I have said MANY times, the workers are not to blame for the CLEARLY excessive pensions & benefits promised them via the collusion between their Unions and our self-selfing elected officials (“politicians” as you put it).

            But the Taxpayers are the ones MOST “wronged” by being told that THEY are on the hook to pay for 80-90% of the total cost these grossly excessive pension promises (typically 3x-4x greater in value at retirement than what they get). Well, sorry if you don’t want to hear it, but it is FAR FAR fairer to take the excessive (i.e., 50+%) share of those “promises” away, and for CURRENT, not just new workers, than for taxpayer to pay for these absurd promises.

            I could listen (with a more open mind) to arguments that (except in the most dire financial situations) PAST service accruals should not be taken away (especially for those already ready retired) if the standard response from the Public Sector Unions/workers wasn’t always …. not only won’t you take PAST service accruals away, but we WILL continues to accrue FUTURE service accruals on the same basis for all CURRENT workers until we retire. And even with MOST refusing to discuss such reductions changes even for new workers.

            That position exhibits such obnoxious greed and “F”-the-Taxpayers attitude, that taking a hard line with respect to pension reform is made all the more easier.

            You still don’t seem to understand that this is far more a MATH problem than a political one at this point …. and it WON’T go away without a very material change in the above-described Union/worker position.

  2. Posted by Anonymous on January 28, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    Christie is the apprentice of GW Bush who ran the country a far down as he could.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Tough Love on January 29, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    VERY interesting NJ pension article here:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/397487/chris-christies-pension-problem-and-ours-jason-richwine

    I particularly noted the following paragraph from the article’s author Jason Richwine:

    ““We wouldn’t have this shortfall if the state had simply made its required contribution every year.” That’s the standard refrain from public-employee unions, but it’s somewhat disingenuous. The annual contribution needed to guarantee benefits is often so high that taxpayers would likely revolt if handed the bill in full. Benefit cuts would have already occurred if the state had not been allowed to kick the pension can down the road. The unions know that, which is why they take an active interest in concealing the full costs.”

    Why ? Because it is exactly what I have been saying …. for years !

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on January 29, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      The following is just one of MANY of my past comments saying essentially the SAME thing as Jason Richwine….

      “Taxpayers must stay focused on the fact that “funding” requirements FOLLOW from (and directly in proportion to) Plan “generosity”. Not being able to fully fund a very “generous” Plan is usually NOT due to a lack of political will, but due to the fact that the HUGE sums needed to do so are simply not available (while meeting a city’s essential service needs)….. with the ROOT CAUSE of this (incorrectly labeled) “funding problem” being directly traceable to grossly excessive pension/benefit “generosity. Funding” problems are a CONSEQUENCE of that excessive generosity, not a CAUSE of the financial pension mess many States and Cities now find themselves in.”

      Reply

    • Posted by Anonymous on January 30, 2015 at 12:36 am

      Again, run for office you useless windbag

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on January 30, 2015 at 12:46 am

        Truth hurts ?

        If you think the truth hurts, just wait for the well-justified “hurt” heading your way via reductions in your pensions & benefits.

        Reply

  4. Posted by fouls123 on February 12, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    I am very tired of hearing how the powerful uninons in NJ have colluded with the politicians to gain overly generous pensions. first of all, the unions are so powerless that they haven’t been able to get decent pay raises for public employees over the past 30 years, and that is a fact. If you want to go after somebody, go after the pay and pensions of the corporate CEOs and slew of vps along with Wall Street bankers sucking up all of the money and leaving nothing for their workers. The demise of the working class began with the Reagan tax cuts and were exacerbated by the Bush tax cuts. Our infrastructure is crumbling , employment has been hurt and there is no money at the federal level to fix the problem. for NJ throw in the Whitman tax cuts to the top and you have no money at the state level either to address expenses such as pensions. Until the tax situation is changed to put more of a burden on the wealthiest as existed before Reagan, income inequality will worsen and the middle class and the poor will be left to fight each other over the crumbs left to them by the new Robber Barons.. If you don’t understand this, you will continue to be bitter and resentful against the wrong people who are struggling to survive just as you are. Direct your anger where it belongs, and it isn’t the politicians, it is the rich corporate types like the Koch Brothers who control them and keep reducing the pie for working people.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on February 14, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      Quoting …”I am very tired of hearing how the powerful unions in NJ have colluded with the politicians to gain overly generous pensions. first of all, the unions are so powerless that they haven’t been able to get decent pay raises for public employees over the past 30 years, and that is a fact.”

      Oh really, in all of the towns near where I live a patrolman with just 5 years of experience makes $115K-$125K in just base pay. Add in the very generous benefits and the off-the-wall rich pensions and their total comp is near $200K. Where does this thievery end?

      And while I agree with you that income tax rates should be higher for the wealthy, I completely disagree that any of the incremental funds should be used to support your grossly excessive (by ANY and ALL reasonable metrics) pensions & benefits. Public Sector workers are entitled to pensions & benefits EQUAL TO but NOT better than their Private Sector counterparts.

      Go a problem with EQUAL ?

      Reply

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